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My First Table With Walnut And Maple

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Project by DarrylJN posted 704 days ago 856 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are some pics of my first attempt at making a table. I tried to go simple and just keep it clean with only a top shelf and no bottom shelf. The table is Walnut and Maple and the top is 20×40 x 1-1/6 with 5 inch squares for the checkerboard pattern. The legs are 1-3/4×1-3/4×27-1/2 with 32 oak dowels joints connecting the legs to the aprons (i think apron is the right word!) and 8 pocket screws with glue connecting the top to the legs. I finished the table with 6 coats of General Finishes PolyAcrylic Semi-Gloss with sanding in between coats using #0000 steel wool. Overall, I think it came out pretty good, I did burn some of the cove corners when I was routing and I couldn’t seem to get them out with sanding so I just let it go. Now I just need to figure where to place it in the house!

-- Darryl ~ Waxhaw, NC





7 comments so far

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2094 posts in 785 days


#1 posted 704 days ago

Nice table ! Since it’s your first, a copy of comments/observations that might have merit -

1) have you allowed for wood movement in attaching the top to the apron ? This is something that should be done in the cross grain direction on the top.

2) Are the joints involving endgrain on the top strengthened with tenons, biscuits or dowels ? Glue alone is dicey here as it is a much weaker joint than a long grain to long grain glue only joint.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View DarrylJN's profile

DarrylJN

217 posts in 1160 days


#2 posted 704 days ago

Hey MonteCristo,
In regards to your question… I didn’t allow for movement, where should I have allowed for movement? I didn’t do any dowels or biscuits in the top, I figured since it was over an inch thick and with using Titebond III that it shouldn’t be a problem and I did put a cross beam in the middle up top. I guess I will just keep an eye on it. I was going to do dowel joints but I decided not to because of the amount of time and work involved.

-- Darryl ~ Waxhaw, NC

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2094 posts in 785 days


#3 posted 703 days ago

Hi Darryl:

The basic problem I am alluding to is that when the humidity changes, as it always does season to season, wood will expand (more hiumidity) or contract (less humidity). This phenomenon is most noticable across the grain, especially across the width of flat sawn boards. On the other hand, humidity changes have almost no effect on a boards length.

Given the above, the problem with a table with an apron is that the apron piece that goes across the table’s width is cut with it’s length going across the table’s width. So one piece will change size when the humidity changes (ie. the top) but the other (the apron piece) won’t. This conflict can be handled in a number of ways, a simple one being to use clips with slots in them that allow the top to move but still hold it down onto the apron firmly.

On small stuff wood movement can often be ignored but on something the size of your table it is something that should be factored in.

Probably Googling “wood movement humidity changes” or similar will give you lots to read.

On the gluing, you may get away with glue only in joints involving end grain but that is definitely where the top is weakest. Google “end joints glue only” or similar and you should have lots more to read !

Good Luck !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1647 days


#4 posted 701 days ago

Darryl,

This is a nice first attempt at a table, in my opinion. I would agree with MonteCristo in regards to both the end grain connections and allowing for seasonal wood movement.

With that being said, again, an attractive and eye-catching piece!

And I know what you mean about trying to get burn marks out of coves… definitely a chore!

The finish also appears to be done well. Hope you’re able to find a suitable location to display this piece.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View DarrylJN's profile

DarrylJN

217 posts in 1160 days


#5 posted 701 days ago

Thanks Jonathan! I actually wasn’t aware of the movement thing but at least I know now! I just ordered a book that MonteCristo recommended so I plan on using that as a reference moving forward. I’m not sure where I am going to place it yet, maybe behind the couch for pictures to sit on, etc…

-- Darryl ~ Waxhaw, NC

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1647 days


#6 posted 700 days ago

Well as long as you get some good use out of the book, whatever that use might be. :-)

You could actually still account for the wood movement if you really wanted to. Undo all your screws and remove the top, then use table clips/s-clips, and put them into the slots and then screw the clips back into the top of the table. You’ll have your old screw holes there, but they’re out of sight anyway. Just leave them empty. I suppose you could plug them if you want, but certainly not necessary since they’re underneath the piece.

You’ll just have to live with the end-grain joints and chalk it up as a learning experience.

There are several ways to tackle wood movement, but certainly something that needs to be accounted for when designing larger pieces like this table. If not, you run the risk of cracking, separating, etc.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View DarrylJN's profile

DarrylJN

217 posts in 1160 days


#7 posted 700 days ago

LOL! The table is also glued to the aprons as well so it will be tough to get it apart. I will just let it go and see what happens. I’m curious to see if it will actually crack or attempt to move. Like you said, it’s a learning experience and this book discuss those types of things as well so it should be a good read. Here is the book I’m referring to.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1561583588/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00

-- Darryl ~ Waxhaw, NC

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